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Neither Side Willing to Budge in Boeing Strike

November 6, 1989

SEATTLE (AP) _ Neither side is willing to budge in the Machinists strike against the Boeing Co., which vowed not to make any new contract offers after union negotiators rejected its latest proposal.

″They have our best proposal. This is our final offer,″ Larry McKean, chief Boeing negotiator, said Sunday.

″Then they won’t get any planes,″ countered Tom Baker, president of Machinists District Lodge 751. ″Boeing will find that our members are angry and determined not to be insulted and degraded by takeaways and phony number games.″

After six days of meetings with a federal mediator, talks collapsed Saturday when union negotiators rejected the last company offer. The strike began Oct. 4.

Talks were not expected to resume anytime soon.

″Both sides need some time to make some pretty hard decisions,″ mediator Doug Hammond said. ″If they came back in the moods they’re in now, they won’t get anything done except to snipe at each other.″

McKean said the new contained improvements in lump sum payments, overtime and retirement benefits, but it had no more money than a proposed three-year pact rejected by the union Oct. 3.

Baker said the union had no intention of putting the latest offer before its members because it would be rejected and ″putting it to a vote would only mean more anger.″

The Machinists represent about 57,800 workers, including 43,300 in the local district lodge, 12,000 in Wichita, Kan., 1,700 in Portland, Ore., and a few hundred at scattered sites in other states.

McKean said an average 10 percent of those represented by the Machinists are crossing picket lines nationally, ranging from 4 percent in the Puget Sound area, where union membership is mandatory, to 34 percent in Wichita, where membership is voluntary under state law.

Union leaders have maintained the figures are far lower.

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